I should’ve been suspicious when my daughter Kristin and I were told there’d be a forty-five-minute-to-an hour wait and then our name was called within ten minutes. And when the two of us were seated at a table for six, a foot from the stage, I should’ve declined. But I’d perused the menu during the previous ten minutes, and my mouth was already watering for chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes with gravy, and home-made cobbler. I couldn’t risk an actual hour-long wait. And the stage was bare, so maybe, I thought, we could eat our meal and make a quick exit before the show began.
Nope. We’d barely scooted our chairs under the table when two performers—let’s call them Jim and Bob—appeared on the stage. They tuned their guitars, adjusted the mics, and checked the sound system. Satisfied that all was well, they stepped down. I breathed a sigh of relief. Still time to eat and make our get-away. But rather than go do whatever else he needed to do, Jim decided to visit with Kristin and me...well, mainly Kristin. Go figure. But even after she informed him she had a husband and two kids and she was there with her mother, he hung around to tell us about his career playing with TimMcGraw and give us a free, autographed CD. Okay, something was definitely up.
About the time our food arrived, Jim and Bob returned to the stage and cranked up the music. And about the time I’d sweetened my tea, the waitress came over and asked if we minded if a few of Jim’s family and friends joined us at our table. And so it was I found myself right in the middle of a mini mosh
The pressure was on. Front and center, in full view of the entertainers who were stomping and strumming their hearts out, and surrounded by Jim’s partying friends and family, I couldn’t have felt more awkward if I'd been seated on the stage. I did the only thing a hungry seat-filler could do: I dug into my food.
To be fair, Jim was a nice guy and an accomplished musician. As it turns out, he was also the writer of several hit country songs which he performed and I enjoyed. And while I might not be the most rambunctious of fans, I’m a polite one. I didn’t heckle, I applauded when appropriate, and I chewed my food quietly. Kristin and I stayed for the entire program, and I tipped generously—at least enough to cover the cost of the CD. What more could a performer want from a fan? Had Tim McGraw himself been on the stage, I might have been a bit more rowdy. But I doubt it.
|Performers in background were closer than they appear.|